Elective placements


Sydney Medical School Westmead welcomes elective applications from international and Australian medical students. Applications are available only to students in their final or penultimate years of medical studies. The school is unable to offer elective placements to students from universities where the majority of teaching is delivered on-line as students are expected to have a reasonable amount of prior experience in taking histories and examining patients in a clinical setting to enable them to participate appropriately as part of the clinical team.

Elective placements are generally for between four and eight weeks. While we do accept students for longer periods, these long-term placements are very limited and dependent upon availability.

Limited placements are offered from mid-December to mid-January each year in Emergency Medicine due to the summer holiday and reduced staffing levels. Generally, there are also no regular teaching sessions or clinical meetings during this period.

All elective placements must be co-ordinated via the clinical school and students should not apply directly to a potential supervisor or department head as other elective students or full-time Sydney Medical School students may already be placed.

Elective placements are provided on the basis that they are “clinical electives” which do not fulfil requirements in the students’ own courses for experience in specific disciplines.

The following conditions apply

  • Acceptance of applications for elective terms is at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Sydney Medical School Westmead, subject to student/clinical loads and local considerations;
  • The majority of the placement is completed in a ward or clinical attachment and, where possible, with senior, local students;
  • Elective students may attend large group teaching sessions, ie lectures, grand rounds, etc, but do not normally participate in small group session such as bedside tutorials, clinical reasoning sessions, etc;
  • Formal assessments are not provided for elective students, without prior arrangement at the application stage;
  • The medical school will only sign forms provided by students to certify that they have “the same practical (or clinical) rights and responsibilities as local students.